Searches on iTunes for AC/DC, Kid Rock, Tool, Garth Brooks, and Def Leppard will return disappointing results: karaoke and cover tracks, not material from the artists themselves. Reasons for non-compliance with Apple vary.
AC/DC and Apple have an ideological agreement; the Australian band protests Apple’s policy that offers albums piecemeal.
“We don’t make singles, we make albums,” the band’s guitarist Angus Young said in a Telegraph article. “If we were on iTunes, we know a certain percentage of people would only download two or three songs from the album – and we don’t think that represents us musically.”
Country singer Garth Brooks has similar qualms with individual song downloads. Brooks has reportedly met with Apple on multiple occasions to refute the policy.
“They truly think that they’re saving music,” the singer said in a 2009 USA Today report. “I looked at them right across the table with all the love in the world and told them they were killing it. Until we get variable pricing, until we get album-only downloads, then they are not a true retailer for my stuff, and you won’t see my stuff on there.”
Multiple sources said that with meandering anthems that overlap into one another, ambient rock band Tool has the same misgivings about iTunes.
But Kid Rock’s reservations represent another faction. Rather than a philosophical disagreement, the artist believes that the royalties Apple rewards to artists are too low. He told the BBC in 2008 that “iTunes takes the money, the record company takes the money, and they don’t give it to the artist.”
Bob Seger and Kid Rock share the same management, which could explain why Seger, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, can’t be found on iTunes either.
In 2007, Kid Rock’s sixth album “Rock ‘n’ Roll Jesus,” debuted at number one on the Billboard top 200 chart, despite its absence from iTunes. But that was a different era, when holdouts still included big names like Radiohead.
In 2007, Radiohead made its album “In Rainbows” available on the Web; allowing fans to name their price. In 2008, Radiohead made its full catalogue available on iTunes, according to Billboard..
Now the Beatles have joined the iTunes world, too. “In 1964, the band that changed everything came to America. Now they’re on iTunes,” said a note on Apple’s homepage.